Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

Schooling was disrupted yesterday at Zibambele Primary School in Emndeni, Soweto, when parents locked the gates, demanding that the department of education immediately resolve the issue of the appointment of a new principal.

They said the school had not had a principal since the beginning of the year.

"We will not open the gates until our principal is here," said school governing body chairperson Thami Radebe.

He said they had recommended ILS Dilebo, the principal of Michael Seageng Primary School, but the district wanted to appoint someone else.

Radebe said the district knew that the former principal would resign last year but did not look for a replacement.

"They came up with a lot of excuses, such as claiming that they could not find a profile of our preferred candidate and that he is at a lower level and could not be appointed," Radebe said.

Protesting parents said they would not leave until Dilebo was brought to the school.

"We are not happy that our children are locked out but if it is going to fix the problem support it," said Ntombi Cannen.

She said the district should not impose people on them.

To end the disruptions, department representative Busi Luthuli agreed with parents to bring Dilebo to the school.

"The principal you want is here and he will be here until the matter is resolved. But it must be clear that this is a temporary arrangement," she said.

Luthuli said the number of pupils at Michael Seageng Primary was dwindling and the department was in the process of merging it with another school.

"Someone will have to be elevated to take over the vacancy left by the principal at Michael Seageng," she said.

Radebe said they were happy their fight had not been in vain.